Chapter

Transition: Rilke

William J. Richardson

in Heidegger

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 1993 | ISBN: 9780823222551
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235247 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823222551.003.0016

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Transition: Rilke

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This chapter interprets the lyric poet R.M. Rilke. For Heidegger, Rilke is beyond comparison the poet of metaphysics in its consummation, having experienced and expressed in words the Being of beings as universal Will. The discussion looks into Being as Will and Rilke's attempt to overcome nihilism. It also presents Heidegger's critique of Rilke. This chapter argues that, according to Heidegger, the nihilism to which Nietzsche and Rilke testify is but the last consequence of metaphysics itself, for which Being means nothing. To overcome nihilism, one must overcome metaphysics by thinking as the process on which ontological difference arises.

Keywords: Rilke; nihilism; Will; poet; metaphysics; Being

Chapter.  3656 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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